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Chicago Fire FC drew the New England Revolution 1-1 on Sunday in the team's 2022 season finale at SeatGeek Stadium. Despite the share of points taken, a trio of notable Homegrown milestones were met in the match as forward Alex Monis delivered his first career goal to equalize in second half stoppage time, goalkeeper Chris Brady earned his first MLS start, and midfielder Sergio Oregel earned his first MLS appearance.

After the match, Brady and Monis were joined by forward Jhon Durán and Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson in discussing their takeaways from the performance with media. Read the group's quotes below.

Chicago Fire FC Quotes

Chicago Fire FC Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson

On the performance of Chris Brady...
"I thought he did really, really well today. He came up with a couple of big saves, 1-v-1 against (Gustavo) Bou one time. It's not easy being a 'keeper going in and having to start your first game like that. But I thought the kid did really, really well for us tonight; whenever he was called upon, he was big time."

On the chances of Chris Brady being the starting goalkeeper next season... 
"Oh, yeah, definitely. Definitely. I think you could tell from his performance today and his performance all year with the second team that the kid is ready to make that move. But you know, there's always gonna be competition and especially after this year, coming into the next year, there's gonna be competition for every position. And we're gonna make sure that this team becomes more competitive and becomes a better team because we didn't make the playoffs this year and the goal is to do that. So, every position, there will be competition, but Brady showed today that he's ready if called upon."

On the team's performance this season...
"Well, I think it's a team that's been in a building stage. You know, this year was a learning process for everyone, but what I do like about this team is that we've shown progress. We had a few injuries, a few key injuries, that we never complained about during the season, but it was evident that it hurt our play at times, not having that depth available for some key guys. But you know, it's a team that I think is growing. They’ve learned a lot from each other. Many of these guys are just playing together for the first time this year; it was almost a scrapping and made up going into the year. But in the middle of the season, we hit a good stride and when we had most people healthy we showed it in five, six games that we can compete with the teams in this league. But then like I said, once we took some key injuries, it was really difficult for us to sustain games. You know, sometimes we're in games into the 60th, 65th minute, but we just didn't have enough to sometimes finish a lead, or sometimes chase after a game. So, these are things that we'll address and make sure that we're better at next year."

On the significance of Alex Monis' goal and Homegrowns' performance... 
"Yeah, definitely. You know, I had no qualms about putting him in the match. He's been training really, really well, and as a coach, you look at things like that. We don't really look at a player's age; if you're playing well, you'll get on the pitch. And I just thought it was a perfect time to get him in the game and give him some minutes, give him some experience. So, that was good, I was happy for him. He's a kid who's been through a lot off the field. So, I mean, what a way to finish his year. He had a good season with the second team. So, it was fitting that he was the one that tied the game for us today.

And also, you know, Sergio came in and I thought he played really well; with Mauricio carrying a yellow, we thought, you know, we didn't want to pick up a second yellow for Mauricio, the way the referee was calling the game. So, we called Sergio and I thought he came in and he played well. So, it's good to see your young kids when called upon, get out there and play and play well, because we have a lot of young players so we have to get them out there, we have to get them experience. But once they show well in training, once they show that they're ready, we say that there are good players and bad players, not old players and young players. So, it doesn't matter your age, if you play well enough in training and you show that you're ready to step on the pitch on Saturday night, or what have you, then you'll get the opportunity to play.

So, I'm happy that those three players and, you know, Kendall Burks, he's just starting the second game tonight. He's also a young player, a first-year player. I thought he showed well tonight. Carlos Terán, all these guys are 23 and under, and I thought these guys showed really well for themselves tonight. You know Durán obviously, he's the wunderkind, you know, so it's good, it looks good for the future. But we know that we just have to get better and so, we'll do that in the offseason, to regroup and come back next year a little bit stronger than we did this year."

On the talent in the Chicagoland area...
"Well, this is very good for us, being the home team here and having this much talent, it's very good for us. It's amazing to me that these kids, it's asking a lot of them to move from the Academy, or move from the second team, to now step onto an MLS pitch and start playing against some great players and stuff. But I feel like every time that we call on these young players, they've showed up, and that's really good for us. But the talent in Chicago is great and for us as a home team, it bodes well for the future, and we want to continue to tap into that talent. It's all about your performance, we're not just gonna pick you because you're from Chicago, but if you're playing well and you're training well and you have good habits and we see that potential, then we definitely want you to be at Chicago Fire and nowhere else. So, we'll definitely continue to get as many quality Chicagoland players as we can."

On lessons learned in his first year with the team...
"Yeah, I think personally, for me, I think some in-game decisions have to improve. Sometimes, due to injury, we were limited as far as what we could do in the second half of games. But when at full strength, sometimes maybe some decisions and substitutions were made too soon, or maybe some was made too late. You know, I think that's something that, me as a coach, I have to get better at, and kind of feeling the game a little bit. There were some moments, like in DC, bringing on Jonathan Bornstein, no one thought it was possible to do and he comes in and he scores the goal that puts the game away. But there are the times – I could mention the Columbus game at home, the Charlotte game at home – as a coach, I take responsibility for things like that. So, I have to make sure that I do better at putting the right players on the pitch and making the substitution at the right time so the team doesn't collapse like that. So that's solely on me, and that's something I think I need to get better at."

Chicago Fire FC Goalkeeper Chris Brady

On how he felt following his MLS debut…
“I felt good, felt good, you know, obviously wanted a clean sheet but I think today was a really, really good day to build off of and heading into next season especially, I think it's good for the group to come together and show what we can do. Especially some of the younger guys who didn't get a lot of playing time, myself included.” 

On what he learned from today’s match…
“I think I learned a lot. Reading the game first and foremost was probably the biggest takeaway from today, I would say. So reading their press, reading how we want to build, reading how we want to play. I think there were a few moments where it got a little iffy, but I feel like towards the end of the day, I sort of figured it out. And I feel like that was a big, big learning process for us today.”

On what he learned after making mistakes and how he responded as the game progressed…
“So like I said before, reading their press, reading how close players are to my players, that sort of thing on goal kicks, all of that kind of falls under the other category of reading the game. So I'd say, you know, definitely just read it a little better next time. But again, I feel like today was a good result. And although it wasn't three points, I think we'll take the point and build off for next season.” 

On if he feels he’s ready to be the starting goalkeeper next season…
“Yeah, I feel ready. I feel like all the work I put in especially with the second team and even today with the first team and all throughout training throughout the year. I feel like I'm ready. So, yeah, 100 percent.”

On the advice Gaga Slonina gave him ahead of today’s match…
“Yeah. Just before the game, he kind of pulled me in and said, ‘Just go out there, do your thing and play, play how you've done with the second team.’ Because, obviously there's a lot of saves that need to be made with the second team. And I think that kind of showed today. Three or four bigger moments. So, yeah, that was his one piece of advice.” 

On the save he made five minutes into the game and his thoughts on that play…
“My thought process was when he touched it away from me, typically a goalkeeper wants to drop back but because he was still facing the goal and looking to take a shot, I wanted to stay as close as possible to him to make it harder, close off angles, and give myself the best chance of making a save. So I think I did that well.”

On his confidence following that save…
“It was up there. Going into the game, not to say I wasn't confident because I felt pretty good about it. I had a good warm up. But after that save, especially. Not to say it wasn't but I think after that save, I felt pretty good, I felt comfortable. I felt like I was getting in the game a little more after that.”

On if seeing a lot of shots early was beneficial for him…
“So for me the hardest thing for ‘keepers is to go through a game without any action, just kind of trying to stay into it as much as you can. But I think for me today, seeing shots and seeing action early helped me find my groove and work my way into the game with the team. So yeah, I'd say that definitely helped me.”

On Alex Monis scoring his first MLS goal…
“I'm so happy for him. Honestly, when he first scored I didn't see who scored it. I just saw kind of a foot come through the ball and go in the goal, and then he turned and I just went crazy. You can watch my reaction, but once I saw it was his last name I lost it.” 

On his first thoughts when he gets the ball in his hands…
“So for me, I don't have that approach to it but when I first get the ball in my hands I just kind of want to feel it out. And I don't really know if this makes sense, but kind of work it into my grip and just feel the ball and make sure my hands are around it and know how it feels. I do that a lot in the warmup. If you go back and watch that, I kind of grab it, squeeze it, play with it a little bit. That's just to help me, you know, work my hands into the game.”

Chicago Fire FC Midfielder Alex Monis

On what it means for him to get this goal today…
“It means a lot. It’s been a long and difficult season for this team but I think to finish on a positive, you know, individually and collectively is really important. And to do it alongside the teammates that I grew up playing with is a very special thing.” 

On how good it feels as one of the youth products to bear fruit at the club…
“It’s an amazing feeling you know. We’ve been working hard since the academy days. And you know all season whether it was with the first team or the second team and to see Sergio get his debut, Chris to get his debut is a really special thing for the whole club as a whole. So I’m just happy for all these guys.”

On what he was thinking as he ran off after scoring his goal…
“Yeah, around this time last year, I lost my mom to cancer. And it was just such an amazing feeling because this time of year brings up a lot of memories of her and to get that in that moment was such a special feeling for me and my family. Because they were watching, a lot of my friends and family were here today. So to get that was just surreal” 

On what he thinks about seeing ex players here on the field watching him play…
“Yeah, I was at the 25th anniversary yesterday. And to just see some of those guys that are all legends of the game. And to get the goal today and for it come full circle is just an amazing feeling”

Chicago Fire FC Forward Jhon Durán

On what he thinks it meant for the team to get a draw the way it did at the end of the season…
“I think it was a lovely way to finish the season on a positive note. And we had been trying to get it in, I think the tie came on the basis of hard work from everyone. And we gave away a few chances. They say that whoever doesn’t get the goals, watches them be made. And we kept working hard. So it was nice to be able to finish it and go in and finish the season on a positive note.” 

On his reaction to rumors of possible interest from European teams and if he sees himself back in Chicago in 2023…
“I have a contract here until 2024. And I’m going to keep working hard the same way ever since I got here. Throughout the season I’ve been working hard. There were some issues during the season off the field, but we worked through them. We worked through all the issues and I’m really happy here. I'm happy in the city, I’m happy at the club and I’m happy with all of the people around the club. And with all the other things, I really don’t know anything about that. The people that are off of the field handle all that. I don’t have any way to move the pieces or do anything around that. I’m really happy here and we’re gonna keep working hard. And if I’m here next season I’m going to just continue to work hard and will hope for good things to come.”